Suddenly, I knew it was time to stop. God pronounced a season of silence, and I was relieved to obey His prompting.
My words had begun to feel like a weight; the more I spoke the less I heard God’s voice. When I sensed that God was giving me a blogging and social media break, I gulped the opportunity like a woman dying of thirst.
I removed the Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone and planned a short sabbatical here. At first, an announcement seemed appropriate, but I wasn’t sure when God would want me to restart, so quiet reigned with no fanfare.
The silence was truly golden. A true treasure.
Just yesterday, I sensed God releasing me, and my feelings were mixed. The silence has done its job. I feel excited to re-engage and overflowing with God’s Spirit from the extra time with Him.
But I’m also a little sad. The silence was restorative and rich. Restful and renewing. It was just what my soul needed after the cacophony of last year.
Might you need some silence too?
The silence had two purposes. If these resonate with you, ask your Father, who loves you beyond compare, whether a season of silence is what you need too.
Silence to Listen
So. Many. Voices. In 2020, they all erupted talking, talking, talking about politics and race and vaccines and lock downs and deconstruction and theology and on and on and on. Do you feel as weary as I did?
One statistic I read said that we moderns receive as much information in 72 hours as the previous generation did in three months. In other words, we’re inundated. We’re flooded, and it’s not surprising that we feel overwhelmed. We weren’t created for this kind of barrage. I’m convinced that healthy living includes intentional times of turning down the noisy and embracing silence.
I needed to turn them all off for a bit so that I could hear The One, retuning my spiritual ears and listening for God’s voice alone.
More than ever, I’m seeing that this process we’ve been learning is cyclical rather than linear. Listen –> Feel –> Do –> Speak doesn’t end with speaking. Rather, the other steps are repeated over and over again as we grow.
In this blog post, you’ll remember that I started the series by writing about listening to God before all else. I needed not only to start my morning by listening to Him, but to dampen everything else so that I could sense His still, small voice throughout the day.
I read my Bible and journaled. Sat in silent listening for Holy Spirit. Played worship music. Walked and worked outside without my earbuds. Tried to stop the flow of the voice in my head (no easy task!). I intently listened, and I listened with intent.
God flows into silences.
God came to be with me. He spoke to me. God is faithful, and when He shows up, He always brings healing with Him.
Silence to Heal
Until I quieted myself, I didn’t realize how bruised and beaten up I felt. Some of you have waded into the noisy, mean world too, and it’s challenging. It’s painful. Faith and strength and perseverance are required, but they’re the traits that actually grow under fire.
I briefly broke my silence during one God-ordained post after the Derek Chauvin verdict. Healing was evident because I was able to practice an act of self-care by turning off the comments after dealing with dissenters for as long as I was able. Although I hope to stretch my ability to engage well, I stopped the comments with no guilt when I felt the love running out on my end. Progress!
I also realized that I needed someone godly to process some of my heartache. Through a series of circumstances, God pointed me to a wonderful spiritual director, a godly professional woman who listens with empathy. I’ll tell you more about her in future posts, but for now, God is speaking to me through her in powerful ways. Sometimes we need an outsider to help us hear what’s true.
God has also sent some unexpected healing through my church family. I believe the timing of these events is tied directly to this season of silence. With the noise quieted, my spiritual senses are sharpened, and I can see His work. It’s rich and deep… and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude just typing this.
So… do you need some of what I’ve been experiencing?
- God’s bringing His Word to life for you?
- Spirit’s voice being clearer to you?
- God’s healing power reaching into places that you didn’t even know were wounded?
- His balm flowing from His people into your circumstances?
If you do, I want to encourage you to choose a season of silence. I’m not special, and this isn’t magic. God loves you. He wants to speak to you as you listen, and He wants to heal you into wholeness.
What questions or thoughts do you have about a season of silence?
If It’s Your Season to Speak
Although I’m being called to be quieter in this season, some of you are being called to use your voice and your unique story to make a difference.
She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries’ annual conference for communicators, has been my primary training ground, and I have a feeling that some of you are ready and longing for that same training.
No matter where you’re being called to share, She Speaks can help you with your messages and to get the word out. It’s virtual again this year, so it’s both more convenient and affordable than ever. Check out the website for all the details (I’ll be there!) and to register.
And The Winner Is…
Thanks for all your comments guessing about my next writing project. Not only did I enjoy every guess, y’all actually gave me an idea for a new venture. You’re really the best!
The winner of the copy of Exhale is Lisa Achilles! Lisa I’ve sent you an email, and I’ll pop that into the mailbox once I’ve received your address.
ps. I received a draft of my contract last week, so we’re really, really close to formal announcement time. My friends here will be the insiders, the first to know. I’m beyond excited to tell you!